What Is Health Insurance Portability?

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 28/06/2020

Have you come across a situation wherein you are not satisfied with the service or policy features of your current health insurance provider? And, wanted to switch to a new plan or another company? One aspect that holds you back in such scenarios must be the fear of losing the benefits accrued over time in your current health insurance policy.

So, what can be a solution in such cases? Well, have you heard about health insurance portability in India? Let us get into the details and understand if it can serve your purpose!

What Is Meant By Health Insurance Portability?

Health insurance portability refers to a process in which you can switch your current health insurance policy to another plan or health insurance provider without a drop in the accrued benefits, such as the No Claim Bonus accumulated in the previous years. You can switch to a new insurance provider if you renew the health insurance policy. It is one of the finest options to switch to a preferred insurance provider if you are not satisfied with your current policy or insurer.

Why Do People Port Health Insurance Policy?

Many people prefer to port health insurance for some of the following reasons:

  1. Poor customer service support during the policy tenure or while making a claim.
  2. Difficult claim settlement process and slow response.
  3. Inadequate cover compared to health insurance policies from other insurers.
  4. Policy limitations that restrict the wider usage of features comparing similar policies.
  5. Increased premium rates.
  6. Lack of transparency can lead to misunderstanding of the clauses, which can cause rejection of the policy later when a claim is made.
  7. Better policy options are available with other health insurance providers.

Health Insurance Portability Rules In India

The IRDAI has enlisted certain rules to make the health insurance portability fair and accountable. The policyholder and the insurance provider must understand these rules to complete the process successfully.

  1. Category of policies allowed to port - You can port only a health insurance policy that is similar in type.
  2. Type of company - You can port your health insurance plan from a general or specialised company to another general or specialised company.
  3. Time to port - Health insurance portability is permissible during policy renewal and not anytime during the policy tenure. If you plan to port health insurance, you must intimate your new insurance provider 45 days before your renewal. If you miss out on doing the same, the decision on portability is subject to the insurance provider's decision.
  4. Importance of policy renewal - Your application for the portability of your health insurance will be accepted by the insurance provider only when you have renewed the policy on time as mandated.
  5. Acknowledgment - Your health insurance provider must acknowledge your health insurance portability within three days of receiving the application.
  6. Porting charges - No specific charges are incurred towards porting your health insurance policy.
  7. Premium payment - The premium associated with the ported health insurance policy is subject to the policy terms and conditions of the new insurer.
  8. Extended grace period - You will have a 30 day grace period for the policy renewal if your porting application is still pending with the new insurance provider. To benefit from this extended coverage, you need to pay the premium on a pro-rata basis.
  9. Sum insured - Your new insurance provider will have to offer a minimum sum insured equal to the previous health insurance. However, if you wish to increase the cover, you can always approach your new insurance provider. Their acceptance will be based on their policy terms and conditions.
  10. Consideration of pre-existing illness waiting period - When you port to health insurance which has a longer waiting period for a pre-existing illness, the waiting period surpassed in your current policy will be accounted for by your new insurer.
  11. Changing to a policy within your insurance company - You can also port to a new health insurance plan within the same company to accommodate more benefits. For instance, suppose you want to switch to our critical illness insurance from a general health insurance plan. In that case, you can switch to the health insurance policy within the same company and safeguard your financial condition by paying for your hospitalization and other medical expenses when diagnosed with a critical illness.

Health Insurance Portability Benefits

Porting health insurance policies have the following benefits:

  1. Hold a health insurance policy from a preferred insurance provider with increased benefits and a better quality of service.
  2. Continuation of the accumulated benefits.
  3. A cost-effective way to switch to the desired insurance plan.
  4. Easy and hassle-free portability process.

How To Port Health Insurance Policies?

Porting health insurance plans is a simple and hassle-free process. Here is a detail about the required steps.

  1. Approach the new insurance provider and apply for a portability request. Ensure to get it done 45 days before renewing the existing policy.
  2. The new insurer will respond by issuing a proposal, portability form, and the necessary details of the available health insurance plans.
  3. Choose the desired plan and submit the duly filled application to the new insurance provider.
  4. Based on the details, the new insurer will approach your previous insurer or check the IRDAI site about your details, medical records, and other required information. The previous insurer can share details in the IRDAI common data-sharing portal within 7 working days. The new insurer can delay accepting the portability request based on this input.
  5. On receiving the information, the new insurer will decide whether to accept or reject the policy within 15 days. If the insurer delays the response beyond this period, they must accept the portability application.

At Tata AIG, we have a customer-driven executive team handling your requests and promptly acknowledging your queries if you wish to port to our health insurance policy. Based on the increasing need during the global pandemic scenario, we also have the Covid - 19 insurance to manage your hopitalisation and other medical expenses in case you get diagnosed with Covid-19. And, we have achieved a claim settlement ratio of 94.21% in FY 2020-21.

Documents Required For Health Insurance Portability

The portability process will be complete when you have the right documents in hand.

  1. Ensure to have the proposal and the portability form from the new insurer.
  2. Keep the previous policy certificates, documents related to any previous claims, the latest renewal notice detailing the continuation of the coverage, etc., from the current insurer.

Can Health Insurance Portability Requests Get Rejected?

IRDAI has empowered the insurance providers to analyze the risk involved in considering the new portability request and respond based on their terms and conditions to accept or reject the request. In case of rejection, you will have to continue with the previous insurer.

Portability requests can go for rejection for the following reasons:

  1. Unsatisfactory claim history
  2. Inadequate information and delay in submission
  3. Mismatch of features in the request policy
  4. Any break in the policy renewal process
  5. Increased risk owing to higher age
  6. Not having a supporting medical history

Conclusion

Health insurance portability is an enhanced feature that helps you switch to a new plan or insurance provider considering the desired benefits and service quality. In addition, you can benefit from continuing the accumulated benefits from your previous policy. You need to follow and understand certain rules before you proceed with such a request.

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